Ibrahim Steyn

Ibrahim Steyn

Ibrahim Steyn is a research coordinator at the Democracy Development Programme and a PhD candidate with the Centre for Democracy and Citizenship, School of Government at the University of the Western Cape.

He writes in his personal capacity.

What the State's Response to the Anger of Protesting Communities Is Not Telling Us

Picture: BBC World Service Ibrahim Steyn - As many poor working class communities continue to protest against the post-apartheid state’s failure to meet their material expectation of democracy, the only real difference between Mbeki and Zuma’s responses to the protesting voices is that whereas the former has been callous the latter seems more sympathetic. The fact that Mbeki hardly commiserated with protesting communities during his tenure and obstinately denied that South Africa was experiencing a so-called "service...

The Paradox of Democracy Inside the ANC

Picture: Jeppestown.com Ibrahim Steyn - Protagonists of Jacob Zuma describe the ANC’s 52nd National Conference in Polokwane as an historic moment in the life of the organisation intended to hand back power to the masses over its body politic. Democracy inside the ANC had to be extricated from the strictures of the authoritarian bureaucratic style of politics personified by Thabo Mbeki. However, as already observed by many analysts, the recent political parlance and practice of the high ups in the Zuma camp have cast...

The Shorthand of Electoral Democracy: Democracy for Some

Picture: NOReilly Ibrahim Steyn - Democracy is often presented as an unproblematic concept ubiquitously associated with political competition between rival parties or candidates. Simply put, it’s about people’s ability to elect a political regime or leaders of their choice. Such a neutral definition of democracy obscures issues of power and vested interests. Africa’s political elite, for example, have been perpetuating a client-patron model of politics inherited from their colonial predecessors. This has...